By Samuel Levy, Post 601

Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post No. 601 honored four top scholar/athletes from Cumberland County High School, on Sunday, June 3, at the 45th Annual Olympiad Awards Breakfast, at Beth Israel Congregation, in Vineland, NJ.

The ceremony, catered and co-sponsored by the Beth Israel Congregation’s Men’s Club, has been held each year since 1974 to memorialize the nine Israeli athletes who were brutally murdered by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. It publicly recognizes and honors the top scholar/athlete seniors from the five county high schools. Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post 601 member Gerald Batt emceed the ceremony.

This year’s winners and the sports in which they specialized in addition to their scholastics were: Alesandro Valdez (football, winter and spring track), Bridgeton High School; Sara Loew (cross-country, winter and spring track), Cumberland Regional High School; Morgan Giordano (girls soccer, girls basketball), Millville High School; and Tess Fisher (tennis), Vineland High School.

Each received commendations and proclamations at the ceremony from national, state, county, and local officials.

The winners, according to Stephen Paull, Commander of Jewish War Veterans Memorial Post 601, are selected by their respective schools, based on both scholastic and athletic achievements, as well as leadership, cooperation, civic contributions, and all-around good citizenship. The schools rely on input from guidance counselors, teachers, athletic directors, coaches, and principals. The winning students must be seniors, must have lettered in two or more varsity sports, and must be considered prime examples of good citizenship and leadership.

The students are all near or at the top of their classes. A number of past winners have been valedictorians and several have won appointments to various United States service academies.

The Beth Israel Congregation Men’s Club has been catering this breakfast since the event’s inception.

“We are proud and honored to have been part of this annual tradition for so long—an event that calls the public’s attention to our outstanding youngsters in the community who are true role models,” said Men’s Club President Elliot Terris. “Our Men’s Club, which has had many Jewish War Veterans as members, has done much over the years for our synagogue, our Jewish community, and the community at large—not only on our own, but also collaborating with other organizations such as the Jewish War Veterans.”

Paull said the students being recognized present a fine example for the future.

“The origins of this ceremony came out of a great tragedy of terrorism and murder. The students honored over the years at this ceremony are examples of the kindness and goodness that we hope will replace hatred,” he said. “We hope that they, in turn, will be the parents of and advocates for outstanding scholar/athletes honored at a future Olympiad Awards ceremony.”

Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018

By PNC COL (ret) Carl Singer

I wanted to briefly tell you about Alvin Sussman.  I’m humble and proud to call Alvin my friend – to me he represents the “Greatest Generation.”  Alvin is a World War II combat veteran who, like many, came home from the war and then helped build this great nation.

2016:  Alvin and I met over lunch – he has quite a story to tell.  Alvin is a sharp dresser, soft spoken, articulate.  He doesn’t like to talk about himself, but I learned that Alvin was a most successful entertainment executive.  He headed Group W Productions at Westinghouse.  Among his many credits are two popular variety shows, “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.”  And I learned more.

1944:  The Battle of the Bulge.  Alvin was a young rifleman with G Company, 424 Regiment, 106th Infantry Division — he survived the frozen Ardennes Forest and the German attack that intelligence said would not happen.  He has vivid memories and paints a gripping, first hand picture of that historic time – 41 days in hell.

2010:  One more thing about Alvin – he is driven.  He works hard to get what he wants.  Alvin wanted a monument to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge.  Many thought it was a pipe dream – not Alvin.  He persisted and raised over $15,000.  He worked with the mayor and city council of his town and they donated park land for this monument.

Here’s a picture.  Alvin, job well done!

Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018

by Martin C. Hochhauser, Post 625

Private Herman Siegel Post #625, Poughkeepsie, Jewish War Veterans of the United States, embarked on a project to identify as many Jewish veterans as possible who lived in Dutchess County, NY; not just living veterans, but as many veterans as possible from all prior eras. During our search we contacted a representative from Arlington High School who told us of their memorial to all war veterans who had attended that school.

The senior officers of Post #625 paid a visit to the school to view their “Arlington High School Wall of Remembrance” display, which takes up a significant portion of a wall near their main entrance.  The Wall is dedicated to Arlingtonians who perished during military service to our country during World War II, the Korea War, Vietnam War and Afghanistan War. The one Jewish veteran we found on the wall was Phillip E. Budd, who was killed during WW II. (Our namesake Herman Siegel was not listed because he attended Poughkeepsie HS).

A special portion of the wall is dedicated to Silver Star recipient PFC Charlie Johnson who graduated AHS in 1951 and died heroically during the Korean War.   He is widely known for single-handedly holding off enemy forces who overran Outpost Harry throughout an eight-day battle, personally saving nine wounded comrades including fellow AHS graduate Don Dingee. A sculpture on display at the high school shows Johnson dragging the wounded Dingee to safety.

The Arlington High School Wall of Remembrance is an eloquent and meaningful display honoring those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice.  JWV Post #625 is grateful that we had the opportunity to visit, understand and appreciate the sacrifices of Dutchess County’s youth in times of war.  Attending were (from left) Presiding Officer Rob Rubin, Commander Ron Markowitz, Past Post Commander Robert L. Morrison, Past Post Commander Ralph Schwartz, and Chief of Staff Martin Hochhauser.

Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018

By Larry Jasper, Post Commander of 373

Post 373 was founded 31 May 1949, in Tampa, Florida, and is named for Albert S. Aronowitz, son of Emanuel and Rose Aronowitz.  Albert was a PFC with the 135th Infantry, 34th Division, in WWII.  Albert died on June 1, 1944, of wounds sustained at Anzio, Italy. He was 21.

We are a small post with a big mission: to support ill and paralyzed veterans.  We work closely with the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and the Haley’s Cove Rehab Center and Nursing Home in Tampa. We take our ill and disabled vets to many outings, such as baseball and hockey games, museums, state fairs, MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), auto shows, aquariums, lunch at local restaurants, and many other events. We also provide them with everyday needs, as well as periodic entertainment.

We also have a large presence in the community.  We provide an Honor Guard for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm, both at the Amalie Arena in Tampa; the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg; and the local JCC Israel Independence Day celebrations.  We participate in the Massing of the Colors in St. Petersburg as well as activities at MacDill AFB.

For Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we place flags on veterans’ graves in various local cemeteries.  We hold various fundraisers on those occasions to help support the post’s activities for the veterans.

We were recently chosen to provide the Honor Guard for one of the Lightning play-off games (see photo taken prior to moving onto the ice – from left to right, Peter Stark, Larry Jasper, Sonya Bryson (who sings the National Anthem), MacDill Wing Commander Air Force Col. April Vogel (honored guest), Jim Marenus, and Georgi Jasper).

Our monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month in the SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) unit of the James A. Haley VA Hospital, 13000 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33612. Bagels, lox, cream cheese and other items are available at 9:30AM and the meeting starts at 10:00AM.

We are honored to have 2 members who are WWII veterans and we have members who have served in all conflicts since WWII.   One of our WWII members served in the liberation of France and at the Battle of the Bulge.  He was recently honored by the French government for his service.

Volume 72. Number 2. Summer 2018

By CDT Jacob Widman

The Great War was a war that was supposed to be the end of all wars. In the minds of people around the world, the deaths of so many soldiers and civilians had guaranteed that no one would ever wage war again. To this effect, after November 11, 1918 or Armistice Day, many memorials to the fallen and monuments to the survivors were erected across the nation and the world. Today, a century and countless wars later, too many of these monuments and memorials have been neglected, destroyed, removed or abandoned.

In 2013, an Act of Congress created the World War 1 Centennial Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission). The Commission’s mission is to commemorate the centennial of the occurrence of WWI, to include but not limited to preserving WWI monuments and memorials, and educate others on WWI. This mission is not unique to the Commission, but is it’s main focus.

In order to involve the nation in preserving, refurbishing, and even rebuilding monuments and memorials dedicated to those that fought in WWI, the Commission created the “100 memorials, 100 cities” program and the Volunteer Monument Hunter program. With the creation and continued activity of these programs, many monuments and memorials that would otherwise be obscured to history forever are uncovered, documented, and registered for all to enjoy. Some are found simply hiding in plain sight, like six small brass plates at the base of the trees at the entrance of courthouse in Orofino, ID commemorating six men who had died in WWI from the area[1] (shown bottom left) or an unfinished memorial in the Old Agudas Achim cemetery in Columbus Ohio that has not been used since 19521 (shown bottom right). Others are more noticeable, like the large plaque in The First Presbyterian Church in Seattle Washington.

The Volunteer Monument/Memorial Hunter program, as described above, is one of the latest and largest program created by the Commission to encourage and spread the interest in finding and documenting WWI memorials and monuments. These entries are uploaded to a national database with the specific location, names of those honored, pictures of the memorial, and the names of those that rediscovered the memorial. So far, hundreds of monuments have been documented with this initiative. The memorials have been found across the country, in abandoned cemeteries, active cemeteries, courtyards and memorial walls in churches, synagogues, colleges, universities and other religious and educational institutions as well as parks and county court house lawns. Featured at the bottom left is one such a memorial found slowly sinking in a park and restored by Robert Shay1. The people who look for these monuments are as varied as the memorials they are trying to preserve. What they all have in common is the drive to preserve, protect, and in a sense, defend those who did the same for us a hundred years ago. All the volunteers had to do was spend a few hours walking around town looking for these historical markers.

The other principal program supported by the Commission is the “100 memorials, 100 cities” program. As mentioned previously, almost every city and town has a memorial to those that made the ultimate sacrifice during WWI. Because of this, the Commission is awarding up to $2,000 to 100 municipal governments, individuals, or organizations who are refurbishing their WWI monuments. So far 50 cities have applied for and won a grant, and the second batch of 50 will be announced from the second round of applications. The money is provided by many generous sponsors.

Now that you are aware of our hunt for WWI memorials, I issue a challenge. Find all WWI memorials within your cities, big and small. All represent one or more lives that have been lost to keep us free. While this may seem difficult, it is the least we can do as a nation to honor those that fought and especially those that gave the last full measure of devotion on this, the centenary of their sacrifice.

For help and questions with the Volunteer Monument Hunter program, the “100 memorials, 100 cities” program or the Commission in general, please refer to the Commission’s website   For questions not answered by the website, feel free to contact the Jewish War Veterans at

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018

by Rear Admiral (ret) Paul Becker, Post 100

I recently retired from the Navy after 33 years of service in peace, crisis and combat, serving afloat and ashore around the world.  Before sharing my reflections as a Jewish Naval Officer at Tampa’s Temple Schaarai Zedek last month it was important to set the context by informing others of the proud history of Jews who honorably served in uniform and were decorated for valor from our colonial era through conflicts of today.  Of particular note were several four-stars, including an Air Force Chief of Staff, a Chief of Naval Operations and the Father of the Nuclear Navy.  As a Board Member at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Jewish Chapel, I also placed special attention on its namesake, Commodore Uriah Levy, our nation’s first Jewish Flag Officer.

Commodore’s Levy most famous citation is, “I am an American, a Sailor, a Jew.”   I read of his exploits as a teenager growing up in New York and I drew inspiration from his example that someone could be all three.  So why do Jews join the military in the first place?  There’s a myriad of answers for the approximate 1% of the military that is Jewish, but I joined because I felt I had ‘skin in the game.’  As Jews we expect our nation to contribute generously to those less fortunate.   However, when it’s time for our own family to contribute to national security and go into harm’s way, my observations growing up in the Bronx and a middle class suburb of Long Island was that many Jewish families discouraged military participation.  In my mind this created a perception to some that Jewish citizens were not the generous givers to society upon which we rightfully pride ourselves.  My sensitivity to this played a large part in my decision to join the Navy in 1979, frankly, against some of my family’s wishes.  But when it comes to the defense of America and of American-ensured freedom around the world, I believe we Jews, especially descendants like me of  East European immigrants who found shelter in this land and had family murdered in the Holocaust, that we owe this country something.

My Jewish education came in handy as an officer.  I often reflected upon Maimonedes’ eight degrees of tzedakah or charity and equated them to good officership.  We most often read of Maimonides at Passover, but the lesson is eternal.  The levels of charity from lowest to highest are 8) giving unwillingly, to 1) giving something that strengthens someone’s hand so they don’t have to receive again.  I thought about that in everyday situations from helping a subordinate unwillingly and #1, helping them gladly so that they may help themselves in the long run.  The best officers and leaders I served with applied Maimonedes’ first degree of charity, and I strove to do so as well.  Also prominent in my officership’s outlook was the guidance of Hillel: “What is hateful to yourself, do not do unto your neighbor … That is the whole of the Torah, the rest is commentary.”  I thought about that every day: treating shipmates as you would want yourself treated.  Often serving as Jewish Lay Leader, I frequently used a Talmud citation as a star to steer by, “A Jew, no matter how far he strays from the path, is still a Jew.”   It was never for me to tell more junior Jewish personnel what should be their Jewish path or how far they should stray … their Jewish path was their choice.  But I made it a point to never stray during the big holidays when junior Jewish personnel turn to a senior Jewish officer for ritual leadership.  It was in this way that I sought to educate the next generation of American military personnel who are Jewish to remember where the path is if they need it

Finally, in matters more practical I found in the military it’s important to get along, to be one of the guys.  Many of the guys I met in the Navy had never met a Jew.  Some weren’t inclined to like me.   On those occasions I tried twice as hard to be a regular guy in an attempt to disavow any erroneous stereotypes others had about Jews … joining sports teams, taking on collateral duties, missing a little sleep if it means some extra social events.   As a lone Jew in some commands I chose to play a broader role than I might have chosen otherwise, becoming a representative of a religion to which I’m a part, representing Jews even when I thought I wasn’t worthy of representing an entire people.  But thanks to lessons learned from Rabbi Chaplains along the way it dawned on me I was worthy, and that realization, allowed me to be better as an American, a Sailor, a Jew.

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018


By CDT Jacob Widman

Jewish Warrior Weekend was hosted this semester by Texas A&M University in College Station. This semester, 53 cadets and midshipmen were able to participate in this wonderful event. Events that they were able to participate in include: learning the basics of how to be a lay leader, listen to speeches by high ranking officers on being Jewish in the Armed Forces in this day and age, meet other future officers in the military, and speaking to Chaplains on tips and tricks of being Jewish in the Armed Forces.

The Jewish Warrior Weekend Program is weekend retreat once every college semester for cadets and midshipmen from across the country and colleges to meet other Jewish future service members and learn about various things specific to being Jewish leaders in the United States Armed Forces. It was first formed as a way for Jewish cadets and midshipmen from the military academies to meet each other. The program later grew to include Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, culminating this year to include most of the Service Academies, many of the Senior Military Colleges, and some ROTC programs.

This event allows Jewish future service members to meet each other and develop a network, as well as learn from those already in the service tips and tricks to being Jewish and being a Jewish leader in the military. Many have already graduated from this program, and are providing more information for future participants. The community grown and developed at Jewish Warrior Weekend has lasted for many years, and will continue to do so in the future. Some prominent guest speakers that the cadets were able to learn from include RDML Harold Robinson, CAPT Dan Goldenberg, and Past TALO Commander Dr. Barry Schneider.

JWW Spring 2018 was generously sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans, the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M University Hillel, Texas A&M Chabad, Jewish Welfare Board, United States Military Academy Jewish Chapel, United States Naval Academy Jewish Chapel and the United States Air Force Academy Jewish Chapel.

Next semester, Jewish Warrior Weekend will be hosted at the United States Naval Academy on Veterans Day Weekend.

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018

By Jerry Alperstein

Purim was celebrated at the Manhattan VA Medical Center [VAMC] on Purim morning, March 1, with the reading of the Purim Megillah, live Purim music by the MazelTones and hamentashen.  The event was organized by VAMC Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Andrew Scheer and was sponsored by Jewish War Veterans [JWV] Manhattan-Cooper-Lieutenant Colonel Larry Epstein-Florence Greenwald Post 1, the oldest veterans echelon in the United States.

The Megillah reading has been an annual occurrence at the VAMC for many decades.  JWV has been sponsoring the event for approximately the last 15 years by providing the Megillah books, the groggers and the hamentashen.  Approximately 25 people attended the Megillah reading, which included Post 1 members and patrons as well as VAMC staff and patients.  Among JWV members and patrons attending were National Executive Committee member Jerry Alperstein, Sara Alperstein, Seymour Beder, Jonah Berman, Michael Henken, Robert Iskowitz, Mitchell Mernick, Harold Schaeffer, Simon Spiegelman and JWV Department of New York Hospital Committee Chair Mort Weinstein.  The Megillah reader was David Waxman, a member of our community.

Following the Megillah reading, five flavors of hamentashen [apricot, chocolate, mango, pomegranate and raspberry] were served while two members of the MazelTones of New York Band, including Jerry Alperstein on trumpet, performed Purim music.   Among the VAMC staff attending from the Chaplaincy Department in addition to Rabbi Scheer were Chaplain Elizabeth Putnam and Chaplain Intern Harold Ng.  After the hamentashen eating and Purim music were completed, a Post 1 meeting was held at the VA including the election and installation of officers for the 2018-2019 year.

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018

By Steve Krant, Post Commander 256

The Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 Color Guard was invited to perform opening ceremonies at the Third Annual Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship on a sunny late October 29th morning in the parking lot of presenting sponsor Sunnyland Furniture in far North Dallas. The rapidly growing event merged the national cuisine of Texas with strict Jewish dietary laws under the watchful supervision of Dallas Kosher and the world-renowned Kansas City Barbecue Society. Teams from around Texas and beyond fired-up their grills in the pre-dawn hours to compete in the only KCBS-sanctioned Kosher cook-off in Texas. The event featured local celebrity judges, a live band, and numerous sponsors, Post 256 included, staffing booths at the family-friendly and free event.  Tickets to sample delicious barbecue beef, turkey and sausage that were prepared with varying degrees of heat were available for purchase, with proceeds going to support several area charities. Judges announced the winners and awarded team plaques before the sun set on a perfect autumn afternoon.

The Post 256 Color Guard, under the direction of Color Sergeant David Foland, consisted of Allan Cantor (National Officer-of-the Day and past Post Commander), Steve Solka (Jr. Vice Commander), Art Kaplan (Dept. of TALO Commander), Bob Epstein, and Harry Kabler. Their Trooping of the Colors, both American and Israeli flags, marked the event’s official opening to the public as the crowd came to attention to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hatikvah.”

We staffed an information table near the bandstand and were able to recruit a new member, U.S. Navy veteran David Meier, to JWV and our Post.  The event was a great opportunity to showcase JWV to our community, and we are excited to include David in our ranks.  We will definitely be back next year for some of that delicious Texas barbeque.

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018

By Howard Kuker, Post 125

Late one night I read an article about a female Air Force Captain who had committed suicide. She had also been a combat veteran.  Everyone who knew her had thought she was fine. But the sad fact was she suffered from PTSD–a disorder that far too often proves to be fatal.

I soon learned the shocking statistic: approximately 20 combat veterans commit suicide EVERY DAY in the U.S.!  Up until 2017, the number of veteran suicides was 22 a day, but a new VA study was released with a change in the right direction.  However, this statistic does not include military spouses and contractors, who also are at high risk for suicide.

To illustrate the enormity of this number: if you take the number of all the casualties of U.S. wars fought since 2001, that number does NOT equal one year of U.S. veteran suicides.

This is a shameful national tragedy!  As far as I’m concerned, stopping veteran suicide is our most pressing issue.

After I read about the Air Force Captain and the 22 doomed veterans, I decided to do something about it — immediately!  I reasoned that the best way to get the word out was with a YouTube video. That night I started composing a script.

The next day, I telephoned many people to help with this project.  I’d need someone to film the video, someone to edit it and also a place where to film, which, believe it or not, turned out to be a major challenge. A number of colleges turned me down. Plus I had to locate 21 combat veterans. For the purpose of this video, I was number 22.

After countless calls for donated help, I found Phil Falcone, producer of “Joe’s War” (please go see). Finally, after three stressful months, we were ready to film at the Deal, N.J. JCC, home of Post 125.  I was honored to have five WWII vets, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan vets to be in the video. It was a fantastic day.

Since then I have been on TV twice, met with N.J. Congressman Frank Pallone, and made the Garden State Film Festival. I hand out cards daily for the video and average about 600 a month–if you’re within hands reach of me, you’re getting a card.

The video is a call to action, not awareness.  Please call, write and/or e-mail your Congressman and President and tell them to stop this (please also send them my video).

To watch my video go to or any search engine, for example Google, and type in “22 a day no way.”

Volume 72. Number 1. Spring 2018